Poplar Bluff, MO, Feb. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern Missouri Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBC, "Southern Missouri"), the parent corporation of Southern Bank, and Peoples Service Company ("Peoples"), which is the 80% owner of Peoples Banking Company ("PBC"), which is the 100% owner of Peoples Bank of the Ozarks, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement whereby Southern Missouri will acquire Peoples in a stock and cash transaction. The minority shareholders of PBC will be entitled to receive the merger consideration payable under the terms of the merger agreement. Peoples operates ten branches in Christian, Greene, Stone, Taney, and Webster counties in southwest Missouri. Eight of these branches are located in the Springfield, Missouri, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). At December 31, 2013, Peoples' consolidated assets were $275 million, including loans, net, of $191 million, while deposits totaled $230 million. Southern Missouri, following its February 21, 2014, acquisition of Citizens State Bankshares of Bald Knob, Inc., Bald Knob, Arkansas (the parent corporation of Citizens State Bank), would have reported total assets at December 31, 2013, of approximately $1.0 billion, including loans, net, of $760 million, and total deposits of $792 million, on a pro forma basis. After Southern Missouri's acquisition of Peoples, the combined company's total assets will approximate $1.3 billion, with total loans, net, of $951 million, and total deposits of $1.0 billion. The combined company will operate 35 branches in southern Missouri and northeast and north central Arkansas. Under the terms of the merger agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of both entities, Peoples Service Company shareholders will receive 0.3289 shares of Southern Missouri common stock and $10.90 in cash for each share of Peoples common stock, subject to adjustment based on Peoples' capital at closing. Based on the average closing price of $33.13 per share for Southern Missouri stock over the most recent 20 trading days, the deal is valued at approximately $22.9 million. As part of the merger, Southern Missouri will also assume approximately $6.5 million in subordinated debt and retire $2.9 million in other debt.